From the book
Bolinda Mays was having a hard time concentrating on her biology textbook. She hadn't slept well, worrying about her grandfather. He was only in his early sixties, but he was disabled and having difficulties paying his utility bills.
She'd come home for the weekend from her college in Montana. The trip was expensive, considering the gas it took to get her back and forth in her beat-up but serviceable old truck. Thank god she had a part-time job working for a convenience store while college was in session, or she'd never have even been able to afford to come home and see about her grandfather.
It was early December. Not too long before Christmas, and she was having final exams the next week. Really cold weather would come soon. But Bolinda's stepfather was making threats again, about turning her grandfather out of the house that had once been Bolinda's mother's. Her death had left the old man at the mercy of that fortunehunting fool who had his fingers in every evil pie in Catelow, Wyoming. Bolinda shivered, thinking how impossible it was going to be for her, trying to pay off her used textbooks that she'd charged on her credit card. Now she was going to have to try to pay for her grandfather's utility bill, as well. Gas was so expensive, she thought miserably. The poor old man already had to choose between groceries and blood pressure meds. She'd thought about asking her neighbors, the Kirks, for help. But the only one of them she knew well was Cane, and he resented her. A lot. It would be dicey asking him for money. if she even dared.
Not that he didn't owe her something for all the times she'd saved people from him in the little town of Catelow, Wyoming, not too far from Jackson Hole. Cane had lost an arm overseas in the Middle East, after the last big conflict but while he was still in the service. He'd come home embittered and icy cold, hating everyone. He'd started drinking, refused physical therapy, refused counseling and then gone hog wild.
Every couple of weeks, he treed the local bar. The other Kirk brothers, Mallory and Dalton, always paid the bills and they knew the owner of the tavern, who was kind enough not to have Cane arrested. But the only person who could do anything with Cane was Bolinda, or Bodie as her friends called her. Even Morie, Mallory Kirk's new wife, couldn't deal with a drunken Cane. He was intimidating.
Not so much to Bolinda. She understood him, as few other people did. Amazing, considering that she was only twenty-two and he was thirty-four. That was one big age difference. It never seemed to matter. Cane talked to her as if she were his age, often about things that she had no business knowing. He seemed to consider her one of the guys.
She didn't look like a guy. She wasn't largely endowed in the bra department, of course. Her breasts were small and pert, but nothing like the women in those guy magazines. She knew that, because Cane had dated a centerfold model once and told Bodie all about her. Another embarrassing conversation when he was drunk that he probably didn't even remember.
She shook her head and tried again to concentrate on her biology textbook. She sighed, running a hand through her short, wavy black hair. Her odd, pale brown eyes were riveted to the drawings of internal human anatomy, but she just couldn't seem to make her brain work. There was going to be a final next week, along with an oral lab, and she didn't want to be the student trying to hide under the table when the professor started asking questions.
She shifted on the carpeted floor, on her...